More and more people are looking to spend time outside now that the weather is warming up. One hobby that has been gathering interest with people stuck at home is birdwatching. It is important that you continue to social distance while enjoying the outdoors, and birdwatching is a good way to do that because generally, most birds are active at dawn and dusk. Here are some recycled bird feeders you can make with household items, and some resources for getting into birding.
Plastic Bottle Feeder
A simple and easy feeder- just clean a plastic bottle, cut a few holes near the bottom of the bottle, and insert and secure a platform for seeds to come out on, like popsicle sticks or spoons (as seen above). Poke or drill a hole in the cap so you can knot string through it, and then screw it back onto the bottle.
Jug or Carton
With a leftover gallon jug (or a milk or juice carton) you can cut out windows along the sides. Try to keep them low- your seed layer should only be about an inch thick. Sand the edges if they are sharp. Use rope or wire or any other strong material to tie the handle to a tree branch or other structure.
Completely clean out the inside of half a citrus so you are left only with the peel and pith. Thread string or twine through at intervals to ensure it hangs level and stable. Hang up outside, but remove or change the feeder after about a week as the material rots.
Want to learn more about birds in your area?
A specific location that attracts birds can be known as a “hotspot.” Check out a map of hotspots here (https://ebird.org/hotspots).
Does identifying birds feel daunting? Check out https://www.chicagoaudubon.org/bird-identification-tips for strategies on breaking down details.
There are several common birds that most people will know, such as the American Robin, Cardinals, House Sparrows, and Blue Jays. The Field Museum has a pretty good beginner list here, but I recommend downloading the Merlin Bird ID App to help you identify on the go.
More info on birds in general: